Distractions are easy to come by anytime, but running into sales distractions when you’re working remotely can be especially problematic.
Distractions are nothing new. Whether we’re at home doing laundry or setting up a meeting with a buyer, it’s easy to lose track of what we’re doing. Usually, these mental tangents are fine, or even necessary. But when you run into numerous sales distractions, it can be hard to get back into your groove.
That’s true whether you’re working remotely or in an office. However, the problem a lot of people run into when they’re working remotely is that there isn’t always a hook to reel them back in.
Of course, there are plenty of distractions in an office: coworkers want to chat, someone asks us to go to lunch, or your office mate is engaged in a lively phone conversation that’s interrupting your focus. And the occasional distraction can be helpful. For example, when you’re stuck on something, a walk or a few minutes scrolling through vacation ideas may be the break your mind needs to get back on task with a fresh outlook.
With remote work, however, some of those sales distractions can be challenging to recover from. Here are some ideas to help either avoid or limit distractions for remote teams.
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Sales distractions: 5 ways to stay focused on work
1. Welcome distractions: This might seem like an odd suggestion if you’re working to avoid or limit sales distractions, but it works as a way to reset your brain or energy. But – or perhaps that should be BUT! You can’t just mentally wander off with every Twitter update or Google search, or YouTube journey. Distractions can be helpful, but you have to set parameters and control them. Set a timer if you need to. Just be sure to keep distractions under control.
2. Take breaks: At first glance, it seems like taking breaks would make it harder to reach sales goals. After all, if you aren’t working, you aren’t working toward hitting or exceeding sales numbers. However, the human brain isn’t designed to work tirelessly on one task for hours at a time. We need breaks to help us refresh and reenergize ourselves. Knowing that we have built-in breaks can help us focus and avoid random distractions. There are a few approaches to breaks, but one popular method is the Pomodoro Technique. Set a timer for 25 minutes and work, then take a 5-minute break. Every 2 hours or so, take a 15 or 20-minute break. That might seem like a lot of “non-work” time, but the reality is that all those random distractions add up, too, and they result in a lot less productivity.
3. Use a dedicated workspace: You can improve your focus by working in a space set up to be somewhat free of distractions. It’s easy if you’re working at home to get caught up in the various things that need to happen around the house. The dishes, lawn, vacuuming, and other errands will be there later. If you can manage to work in the same space each day, it gets easier to train yourself to ignore those other issues until the end of your day.
4. Put the emails down: Emails can be one of the worst sales distractions. And most of them don’t need immediate replies. Give yourself a few times each day to check and reply to emails. Maybe that’s the first thing in the morning, just before lunch, and at the end of the day. You might even add a couple more times in there. For that matter, even once every hour is okay. What you want to get away from are the distractions that come from getting a notification every single time you get an email. Do you really need to interrupt your sales calls to check that email about your neighborhood zoning meeting?
5. Give yourself a reward: If you still get distracted easily, try rewarding yourself for staying on task. Maybe you get to go for a walk once you complete a task or get that next cup of coffee. Perhaps it’s ten minutes of online shopping if you can stay off social media for an hour. Whatever it is that motivates you, go for it.
You’ll never completely eliminate sales distractions. That’s true for both remote and in-office work. What you can do is accept that distractions are part of the day and figure out how to make them work in your favor.
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